Shittu: Cybersecurity Remains a Big Challenge for Govt
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu has expressed worry that insecurity in cyberspace has continued to pose serious challenge for government, in spite of efforts put in place to address the issue.
Adebayo, who spoke at the Nigeria ICT Impact CEO Forum 2017 in Lagos recently, expressed fears that cyberattacks, if not tamed, could erode the gains of global technology advancement, which he said, Nigeria was looking up to in order to catchup with the rest of the world in the area of technology development.
Cybersecurity is more than a challenge for government as it poses a huge obstacle to our digital transformation/digital Nigeria agenda, and the federal government has estimated an annual loss of over N127 billion to cybercrime activities across the nation, Shittu said.
According to him, Nigeria had its fair share of cybercrimes between 2016 and 2017. He said that the economic recession in 2016 brought about numerous attacks targeted at organisations and individuals. The most recent, he said was the unsuspecting patronisers of ponzi schemes.
The minister said: “In the wave of austerity, many people lost money to the said schemes and others fell victims to malicious and compromising websites, and this must not be allowed to continue.”
He explained that in 2013, the ministry set a five-year National Broadband Plan target of reaching a fivefold increase in broadband penetration by the end of 2018, which according to him, by all indications, would be met and surpassed given the enthusiasm of the present administration.
The minister’s view about surpassing the 30 per cent broadband penetration by 2018 is arguable, since some key industry stakeholders have vehemently opposed the implementation plan. They argued that Nigeria will not meet the 30 per cent broadband penetration target by 2018, giving its current broadband penetration level of 21.95 per cent.
The broadband access is a platform through which people could be connected to the internet to participate in a variety of online businesses like e-commerce, even though the cybercriminals also catch up
with the opportunity to hack into database of organisations, with the intention to gain unauthorised access to vital information of organisations and individuals, just to defraud such persons and organisations.
However, Shittu said that government would not be deterred in protecting Nigeria’s cyber territorial zones in order to make them safe for business.
Listing government’s efforts to address cyber insecurity in the country, Shittu said in 2015, the federal government passed the National cybersecurity into law which provides directives to guide regulate and protect the use and deployment of critical information infrastructure in the Nation. “The bill describes classes of cybercrime and also includes robust clauses for criminal prosecution following cybersecurity crimes,” Shittu said.